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New app breaking down language barriers



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New app breaking down language barriers 12 July 2013

Senator the Hon Jan McLucas Minister for Human Services

Senator the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport

Chris Hayes MP Member for Fowler

A new smart phone app is helping break down language barriers for job seekers.

Minister for Human Services, Senator Jan McLucas today joined Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Matt Thistlethwaite and Member for Fowler, Chris Hayes in Cabramatta to launch the new Express Plus Lite smartphone app.

"The Express Plus Lite app is the latest in a series of innovations by the Australian Government that are making it easier for Australians to do their business with Centrelink," Senator McLucas said.

"Our government is working hard to ensure all people, regardless of their language and background, can access important services and payments in a simple and convenient way.

"Express Plus Lite is designed for job seekers who speak languages other than English."

Senator Thistlethwaite said the new app is currently available in Vietnamese, Chinese and Arabic which means job seekers who speak these languages can now record and report their earnings while on the go.

"Now Vietnamese, Chinese and Arabic speakers, who are three of the largest language groups who deal with Centrelink can meet their employment income reporting obligations quickly and easily - without having to call or visit an office," Senator Thistlethwaite said.

Mr Hayes said the latest Express Plus app is particularly important in Cabramatta where more than 70 per cent of the local population come from over 100 different countries and 80 per cent speak more than one language.

"Our government is committed to meeting the needs of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and making sure all Australians have equal access to government services and programs," Mr Hayes said.

"I know locals in our community will welcome this new app and make finding a job and doing the required Centrelink a bit easier.

The Express Plus Lite is one of a range of Express Plus apps for job seekers, seniors, students and families making it easier for them to conduct their business remotely.

Senator McLucas said the government is changing the way Australians access services to reflect new technology and the different circumstances and changing needs of individuals.

"Australians of all ages have really embraced the convenience of interacting with the department using their smartphone. Since they were launched in August last year, the apps have been used to carry out more than 6.9 million transactions.

"The Express Plus Lite app is another example of how our government is modernising and expanding services."

The new Express Plus Lite app is available for free from the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Once registered with online services, people can use the Express Plus smartphone apps, which have been downloaded over half a million times in less than a year.

To find out more about Express Plus Lite and other products and services for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds go to www.humanservices.gov.au[6].